As part of this year's Youth Engagement Showcase, two early-bird entrants were chosen to share their stories at the Rural Ontario Municipal Association's annual conference, ROMA speaks. 

Residents living in rural areas report a greater degree of life satisfaction and wellbeing, according to the final report on the Community Wellbeing Survey undertaken in Oxford County this spring. 


“Fair doesn’t mean everybody gets the SAME, fair means everybody gets what they NEED.”

On November 17th the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness released Without a Home: The National Youth Homeless Survey. This is the largest study of its kind ever undertaken in Canada. In total, 1,103 street involved were surveyed at 47 agencies across 10 provinces and territories. 

The Ministry of Education has provided a response to rural school closures that suggests a rather indifferent tone to the reality of living in small communities where rationalization of services is being driven by a funding formula concerned only with a narrow view of efficiency and not with effectiveness. Efficiency is about the cost, while effectiveness is about outcomes. Can we not look at this another way? 

The OECD's report, Regional Outlook 2016, is an analysis of the trajectories of rural and urban economies within the 30 plus countries that make up its membership. It specifically looked at the reasons for productivity gaps between regions. This is important reading for our provincial and national policy makers and provides encouragement and evidence for those advocating coherent, long-term investment in effective rural regional development.

The Centre Wellington Community Foundation (CWCF) published our first ever Vital Signs report in 2015. The report was designed to take the pulse of our community and to help identify key areas where action and attention is needed most. What happens now that we have produced a successful and well-received Vital Signs report? In the post-report process we are using consultations and Vital Conversations to help move the community to action on specific items identified in the report. 

Looking after ourselves does not stop there when it comes to leading nonprofits. We also need to re-energize and refresh ourselves in the work itself. Every day it is our job to inspire and lead our staff to work with people who are hurting, to challenge unfair systems and to help others make a better life for themselves. This requires passion. And passion requires energy. This kind of energy can be refreshed by the 3 things that we have focused upon in our leadership forum TIME OUT – reflecting, learning and connecting.

Rural electricity cost relief and northern infrastructure allocation merits a mention 

Today the reigning Liberal provincial government gave themselves the opportunity for a reboot on their strategic direction. This is in the context where its approval ratings and the popularity of its leader have been remarkably low given the generally improving economic climate. What does it mean for rural and small town Ontarians distant from the GTA?

It’s incredibly important to keep conversations going about the state of rural affairs to share information. To this end, the Canadian Centre for Rural Creativity is hosting the three day R2R Conference from September 28th-30th in Blyth, Ontario.